I am working now with a Linux-based system, that has several network interfaces according to ifconfig. Some of them have strange naming, e.g. eth0:1 or eth0.2.

What might this kind of naming (with a second number) mean about the purpose of the corresponding interfaces? Are they standard for some particular networking configurations in Linux or is it manually assigned by the system administrator/engineer? How would one begin to investigate on their purpose?


Those names correspond to network subinterfaces, that is, the logical division of physical interfaces.

You can create them in the same way that you create any interface in /etc/network/interfaces (or the corresponding file for your distribution), so eth0:1 means the first network subinterface of network interface eth0, eth0:2 the second network subinterface of network interface eth0 and so on...

By searching in Google for "Linux network subinterfaces" you will find a lot of information about it.

  • This. Also be aware that network device names have been changing in recent releases of many different distros – ivanivan Jan 3 '17 at 13:44

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